Woman with natural hair expressing herself

Apparently, shopping for cleansing products – shampoo, doesn’t get any easier. Brand emergence keep escalating. There are tons of products displayed on the shelves. Wide range of varieties to choose from. Each strategically advertised to lure customers’ attention. The brand name is an added advantage but the products performance is a plus. Knowing what you want in the first place will make your shopping much easier.

Cleansing or washing is done with a product called “Shampoo”. Remember that the scalp just like any part of your body is skin with pores. It’s a living tissue!! It secretes oils, sweat, accumulates dirt, smells, and gets affected by just anything and everything applied to it.

Cleansing, as a hair care process is basically done to remove those dirt, dead skin, sweat, excess oils, bacteria, product build- up’s etc. from the hair. Though It’s unnecessary to wash your hair everyday…once a week is enough to keep you going. This cleaning phase is done to wash and keep the surface of the skin clean and moisturized. Shampoo is made up of several different ingredients. The primary ingredient in any shampoo is water which is also the main ingredient to which surfactants are added with a full range of other chemicals all meant to get your hair squeaky clean and a promise of a host of other traits you want for your hair.

Paying attention to your product ingredient label may seem like hard work but it’s worth it. There are two (2) main types of cleansing products that you should watch out for. Namely;

  1. Sulfate cleansing Products: Sulfate is a synthetic cleansing ingredient of salt or ester of sulfuric acid found in most shampoos. This chemical is sometimes referred to as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) or Sodium laureth sulfate (SLES). It is a foaming agent that gives the shampoo formula that thick, rich lather in the shower. It does a good job by removing oils, and dirt from the hair. The problem arises when it’s been used in excess. It will leave your hair dry, brittle and prone to breakage. I am personally not against sulfate products. I’ve used it couple of times and I know the havoc it excessive use wrecked on my hair. I was almost left bald!! Go easy on such products. I only advice minimal usage. You can use it once a while when you notice product buildup, excess oils on hair and dirt accumulation.
  2. Sulfate Free cleansing Products: These are best known as gentle cleansers. These shampoos do not contain sulfate agents but cleanse your hair thoroughly without stripping it of its natural oils. Sulfate free shampoos are continuing to become more and more popular. Utilizing organic ingredients – sulfate free shampoo is not only better for your hair’s health, but it’s also better for the environment.

A stronger clarifying shampoo (sulfate shampoo) will come in handy once or twice a month when you feel that your mild shampoo (sulfate free shampoo) has stopped working. This condition may be caused by the residue left on the hair by conditioners, oils, and other products constantly applied to the hair. No matter your choice of shampoo, do not forget to thoroughly rinse out product from hair on wash days.